Langford on Soaps: Shock After Shock On “A Place To Call Home”

soaps

Plus, our first look at My Husband’s Lover, the season finale of Go Girls, Iolo and Gethin play truth or dare on People of The Valley and Jonathan’s attacker is out of jail on Winners and Losers. Also, Chris and Hudson reunite — and kiss on Neighbours.

Langford’s Picks and Pans

River City (Scotland)

Scott Ryan Vickers has always been good during his time on the show, but he was particularly strong in this episode. Will is such a well drawn and multi-dimensional character and Vickers inhabits him so well. The scenes with his father were very well done as Will let out years of anger and frustration over how poorly his father has treated him. I’m also glad that the show ended the abusive caregiver storyline. It was nice that it led to Will and his dad finally starting to work things out between them, even though the plot twist might have been a little convenient. I know some folks were upset because the care giver was gay, but on a show that has such gay positive characters and stories, I don’t think such criticism is fair.

I’ve enjoyed seeing Will’s therapy sessions and the show has done a good job of showing Will grow and change since he started counseling. Many shows don’t deal with characters seeing a shrink or gloss over them all together, but I’m glad this show is taking the time and effort to play out every beat of this story. That was also a nice scene between Will and Robbie and it’s obvious that there’s a lot of feeling still between them. Interesting that the show makes a point of showing that they are both still wearing their wedding rings.

I understand why Robbie’s friends don’t like Will, but it just seems foolish and wrongheaded to be screeching at Will when a child has been kidnapped. Overall the kidnapping story has been very well done, but it might be dragging out a little too long. I’m glad it comes to a close, one way or another, next week.

My Husband’s Lover (The Philippines)

First off, I have to say I admire the creators and producers of this show for even getting it made. I couldn’t imagine a show about a man, his wife and the man’s male lover getting the green light here in the States, or really even a lot of other places in the world. It’s nice that not only is the show wholly positive about gays and sexuality, it’s a huge hit in the Philippines, handily winning its time slot. And I thank mhlteam2013 for taking the time and effort to bring this work to English speakers like myself by subbing the episodes. But the show itself? It’s cheesy, melodramatic and over the top. And I loved it.

A man, his wife and his boyfriend….

Lally, Vincent and Eric are all likeable, appealing characters and they are very sympathetic in their romantic dilemma. There are no villains here, even if the notion of Vincent marrying a woman while knowing he’s gay does make one uneasy. But given the society in which he lives and his background it’s not all that shocking. Lally is the most sympathetic of course because she didn’t create the situation. I liked that the show gave us lots of backstory on all the characters, though it would have been nice to get a bit more of how Eric and Vincent fell in love, even though I did get more than I expected. Though, having only seen the first four episodes, there might be more coming down the line. At least I hope so.

Don’t look for lots of kisses…

As you would expect, it’s all very chaste between the two men. There’s a scene between Eric and Vincent where Vincent kisses Eric everywhere but his lips, which I suspect will set the physical tone between the two men. I’ve heard from folks who are ‘outraged’ by this and I think they need to calm down. Rome wasn’t built in a day and like I said, we sure as heck couldn’t get a show like this made here. The fact that it’s made at all and has a lot of attention and gets people talking, understanding and accepting is more important in my view. So my suggestion is if you’re looking for a steamy love story between two men aired on network television, perhaps you better keep on looking. And let me know when you find it.

Of course there are certain plot details that defy logic and you have to say: ‘only in soaps’. For example, Eric left town to care for his sick father, but he and Vincent didn’t call, didn’t write, didn’t have any contact for all that time? The show makes a point of saying Vincent dropped by Eric’s home to see if he was back, but that was the only attempt made to see one another? I know the show cut off all contact so Eric could be shocked that Vincent was married and expecting a baby upon Eric’s return, so why not let them have a painful breakup rather than Eric vowing to return for Vincent? That would have made much more sense. But like I said, only in soaps.

As for a few other details, I really like David, Eric’s former lover and I hope he gets a nice little romance. He’s so heartbroken over losing Eric, who made it clear he never really loved him. I hope he gets a little loving from someone who wants just him. And I’m curious when Lally’s mother is going to turn up. I’m sure it’ll be at the worst possible moment. But as I said, I’m really enjoying this show and look forward to future episodes.

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